revisiting the conversation

I’ve forgotten how to have an adult conversation. My time interacting with the queer faith community, and it’s haters, on social media has resulted in a writing style of hot takes. It’s created a vacuum where real conversation doesn’t come easy, if at all.

Recently, #Bethel posted their #Changed movement propaganda (and that is exactly what it is) and queer faith Twitter blew up. Instead of our normal shade throwing quick quips, we responded with actual conversation. #UnChanged and #ThisIsWhatOnceGayLooksLike started trending. #OnceGay was overtaken by affirming folks and theologians. The stories of resilience and healing poured out almost continuously for 48 hours.

Then something even more beautiful happened. Matthias Roberts and Kevin Garcia did something not only brave but necessary. Together, they coordinated 90 seconds of truth—a two part podcast named for and in response to Bethel’s misleading and damaging false testimony. In 90 seconds, people from all over the world were invited to share their stories of being LGBTQ+ and a person of faith:

“Last week, Bethel Church posted a message on their Instagram asking “Can a person leave homosexuality behind?” promoting their “Changed Movement” which shares stories of people who have “experienced freedom” from being LGBTQ+. Ex-gay theology rebranded.

90 Seconds of Truth is our response. Kevin Garcia and I joined forces and asked people on our social media channels to share 90-second stories with us of what their lives have been like since leaving toxic theology behind.”

Matthias Roberts, Queerology Podcast, 90 Seconds of Truth, part one, 2019.

The response from the community was huge.

These are so important. Hearing for hours (over the course of 2 episodes) from LGBTQ people who have deeper faith BECAUSE OF their orientation/gender rather than IN SPITE OF it? That’s the good stuff. #FaithfullyLGBT #90secondsoftruth #oncegay

@alisechaffins via Twitter

Have you heard of the #90SecondsOfTruth project with @matthiasroberts
and @theKevinGarcia_? There are so many beautiful stories of lgbt Christians coming to terms with a God who loves them. I wish the ones we’ve lost could have heard these stories.

@adhdoug via Twitter

Not only are there countless people of faith living stronger and healthier lives because they’ve embraced who God has made them to be, but there are entire organizations dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ folks, allies, and churches along the deconstruction and reconstruction process.

“We are deeply sadden by decision made by such an influential church as
to embrace a proven harmful theology as ex-gay theology. We join forces with other queer Christians to say that the love of God is inclusive. Change is possible, but sexual orientation and gender identity are part of God’s design and they are not required to be changed in order to be part of God’s love, salvation and Kingdom. 
Listen to the testimony of our siblings in Christ.”

The Reformation Project, Orlando. via Facebook.

This conversation is beautiful and it needs to be said. If you haven’t already listened to the stories, please do. Only by fully embracing who we were created to be can we live a vibrant life.

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